With Bad News All Around, the Good News Still Stands

The Tates served the Lord in Kitale, Kenya since January 2008. Their main ministry is church planting.

June 19, 2020

Greetings in the name of Jesus Christ,

Unfortunately, this month’s newsletter is mostly just bad news. I wish I could say otherwise but the truth is the truth – Corona is wreaking havoc on our ministries here. Churches, schools and government offices are all closed so you can imagine what effects that is having on us.

Bad news #1: Government offices still closed. My work permit officially expired back in March. I had already filed to renew it and it was “accepted”. However, the offices closed before I could receive my paperwork. Where is my paperwork now? I don’t know. What does that mean for my status as a resident in Kenya? I don’t know that either.

Bad news #2: Schools are still closed. If you’ve been following our newsletters on a monthly basis you know that for the last two years Julie has been working diligently and feverishly as the Head Teacher of the newly started Milimani Christian Homeschooling Community (MCHC), a project started by some of our dear Kenyan friends here in Kitale. We didn’t start this school, nor does it belong to us, but Julie especially has been very instrumental in getting it off the ground and keeping it running. It obviously means a great deal to us. When Corona hit Kenya, this school was also shut down. The implications of this are grave. With no school fees coming in the teachers cannot be paid and the rent for the property has not been paid for months. While the directors of the school are trying to get extensions for the lease, the landlady has not been compliant and is demanding all back payments as well. I do not see how the school as a business survives this Corona Virus. There is simply no cash flow and the property almost certainly will be lost unless something miraculous happens. The imminent demise of the school is a source of much pain for Julie especially.

Bad news #3: Upper Room Baptist Chapel will lose its meeting place. Yes, you may have guessed it – URBC rents the facilities from MCHC and holds its weekly worship services there on that property.  When and if MCHC loses its property then URBC loses its venue for worship and ministry. URBC cannot officially meet right now either (although I am in the process of getting special permission to do so) but when our services do start back up it looks like we will have to also start looking for a new location in which to meet. This is very depressing to me, as you might be able to imagine. I liked our current location very much as it was very conducive to the way we wanted the Chapel to run and operate. Now it looks as if we almost certainly will lose this venue as well.

Bad news #4: It just seems like Satan is against us at every turn. Our ministries are in disarray; Our main grocery store in town closed down; Our landlord will not allow any of our friends to come onto our compound; Josiah cannot get out of the country to get back to the U.S. and start college; I keep getting arrested by corrupt police officers who are not arresting me over legalities or infractions but simply to extort bribes from me because I have a target on my back. Ever feel like nothing is going right? 

Good news: God is still on the throne; God is still in control; God still loves us; Jesus is still King; Jesus’ work on the cross still stands; Our salvation is sure; Jesus will come back and will triumph; God’s work will progress. In this we stand. In this we trust. In this we move forward.

Blessings to you all,
Roger, Julie, Amy, Josiah & Chloe

Contact Info:
Roger & Julie Tate
P.O. Box 96
Kitale, Kenya 30200
rojuta@gmail.com

For ministry donations:
Pastor George Sledd, Treasurer of BFM
P.O. Box 471280 | Lake Monroe, FL 32747-1280
or click here to donate to BFM online.


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Life in Kenya is Different Now

Nathan and Carrie Radford serve the Lord in Kitale, Kenya. Their main ministries include indigenous church planting, a prison ministry, and a hospital ministry for mothers with premature babies.

April 4, 2020

Dear praying friends,

Another month has come and passed, and there are many things to update you on. We appreciate each of you so much, and you are such a blessing to us. May God bless you for your heart for missions. This update will share current ministry progress as well as prayer requests.

“Stay home and stay safe.” These are the words we have heard over and over in the past few days. Wise words. Given the corona virus spreading all over the world currently, we are taking these words to heart and staying in as much as we can.

We were continuing along with regular life (I, Nathan, with discipleship and prison ministry and my wife, busy volunteering at school), when in the middle of the month of March, pretty much all non-essential activities were shut down. Anything with large groups of people is discouraged and people have been told to stay home as much as possible.

It has been very different when we actually do go to town to get groceries, etc. Minivans
called matatus that normally carry 11 passengers are down to 3 passengers. Guards at the various stores in town wearing masks—hand sanitizer all over town and for sale. Policemen at the entrance to town monitoring the flow of traffic and making sure all are following the social distancing guidelines. So, so different.

We know it is very similar in America and most things are closed there as well, with many people working from home. How we need to pray for the doctors and those who are trying to find treatments and medicines at this time. Of course, we know a vaccine is probably not in the near future, but if we can get good medicines to treat it now and give some relief and comfort, that would be crucial to the fight against the virus.

How long will this last in Kenya? How long in the world? God only knows. How we need to trust Him during these trying times. I am comforted with verses in Psalm 91. Psalm 91:1-3 says “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in Him will I trust. Surely He shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.” Amen. Also, Psalm 91: 9-10, which says “Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation; There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.” What a comfort these verses are in this difficult time.

Know we are praying for each of you and all the changes and adjustments that we must make for now. Our prayer is that as we follow the social distancing and staying home, that this will curb the virus and things will get back to normal soon. We want to get back into ministry as soon as possible, but at the same time, we want to be vigilant and careful at the present, taking the precautions we need to take. We know you all do as well, for the benefit of everyone. I am reminded of Psalm 56:3, which says “What time I am afraid, I will trust in Thee.” Certainly this applies to our present situation.

May God bless each of you and we will keep you updated. Thanks again for your prayers, sacrificial giving, and encouragement. You each mean so much to us.

Blessings,
Nathan and Carrie Radford

Nathan and Carrie Radford
P.O. Box 4150
Kitale, Kenya
East Africa 30200

For ministry donations:
Pastor George Sledd, Treasurer of BFM
P.O. Box 471280
Lake Monroe, FL 32747-1280
or click here to donate to BFM online.


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A Solid Foundation for Disciples in Wiyeta

Nathan and Carrie Radford serve the Lord in Kitale, Kenya. Their main ministries include indigenous church planting, a prison ministry, and a hospital ministry for mothers with premature babies.

January 4, 2020

Dear praying friends,

We hope this year 2020 finds you all doing well in service to our Lord. Hard to believe that we are entering a new decade so soon. Time truly passes so fast and may we be busy in service to Him. I am reminded of Ephesians 5:16, which says “Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” Also, Colossians 4:5, which says “Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time.” The idea here is to make the best use of the time and the opportunities that God gives us. To make sure that we are focused on that which is eternal, which will not pass away, and can never be taken from us. May this be our prayer and thoughts in the upcoming year ahead.

I (Nathan) have been continuing in the discipleship course in the village of Wiyeta. Wiyeta is a big area, and I am really seeing its size and need for churches the more that I go there. God has provided some men to train and disciple at this time, for which I am grateful. The men have given me good feedback on the discipleship program, and one man has commented on the great need for the foundation to be given first. This is my goal, to give the men Biblical training straight from the Word, so they can see for themselves what the Word says.

I have just started a training on the Trinity, and we recently looked at “God is our Heavenly Father.” In this lesson we saw many things from the Word, namely how God loves us with an everlasting love. Jeremiah 31:3 says “The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.” We also looked at His protection (2 Thessalonians 3:3,) and His provision. One of the main verses under the provision section was Matthew 6:33, which says “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” I tried to challenge the men to put His kingdom first, then leave the rest to God and His leading for their lives. Please pray for each of the men that have been faithfully coming, that they would continue to get the foundational teachings, then go out to reach others in their respective areas, with the main goal being the establishment of churches over time. I leave this all in God’s timing and plan and trust Him with the results.

I also am continuing to teach at the Annex prison. I am pleased with the prisoners that have been faithfully coming to be taught the Word. I am almost at the end of the Old Testament teachings and hope to start the New Testament teachings soon, Lord willing. The Annex prison has been welcoming so far, for which I am thankful. I am trusting God to lead in the upcoming year and that He will provide the students He would have for me. Please continue to pray for this ministry.

In family news, please pray for our daughters, as they go back to school January 13th. There are some new students they are adding for the high school level, so please pray for the teachers and their new duties. It is a year of adjustments for everyone, including the teachers, so we would greatly appreciate your prayers.

God bless each of you and we will keep you updated.

Serving in Kenya,
Nathan and Carrie Radford

Nathan and Carrie Radford
P.O. Box 4150
Kitale, Kenya
East Africa 30200

For ministry donations:
Pastor George Sledd, Treasurer of BFM
P.O. Box 471280
Lake Monroe, FL 32747-1280
or click here to donate to BFM online.


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Road Improvements, New School Wing, and Discipling

Nathan and Carrie Radford serve the Lord in Kitale, Kenya. Their main ministries include indigenous church planting, a prison ministry, and a hospital ministry for mothers with premature babies.

February 1, 2019

Dear praying friends,

We are now in the month of February, and there are many things to update you on. We ask that you would please pray for us in the areas provided, as there are some things we need prayer for currently. Thanks so much to each of you for your heart for missions. We truly do appreciate you.

One prayer request we have currently is for the health of our family. There is work being done to tarmac one of the main roads in Milimani, where we reside. This is actually a very good thing and will bring many improvements, such as removing the potholes from the roads, reducing the amount of dust in the air, providing smooth transport for those in Milimani, etc. It is always challenging to drive in rainy season, as the roads are mainly hard forms of mud and when it rains, the vehicles go over the road, creating big ruts and potholes. Now, with the tarmac (hopefully to be completed by March this year), this will be greatly reduced. However, a big problem is the amount of dust created from digging up the road and smoothing it. McKenna and I both struggle with asthma and this dust is making it worse. McKenna has had to miss some school days, so we would appreciate your prayers not only for us, but for all those within the Milimani area. Please pray that they would conclude the tarmac project on time, as this will be a great help.

Please also pray for the new school wing that my wife and daughters are involved with. There have been some bumps along the way, as is expected, so please pray for the beginning of the school, for the teachers, the parents, the students, and the directors. Please pray that God would be glorified and all would be done for His glory. Please also pray for our daughters and the friendships that they are currently making. God is in control and we trust Him for all these things. I am reminded of 1 Corinthians 10:31, which says “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.”
I (Nathan) have been discipling a younger Kenyan, Emmanuel, in Milimani. He has done very well so far through the course and is volunteering to lead once a month in a home group Bible study. I think there are around 14 families attending this study, so this is a big step for him and a great way to reach multiple families. Emmanuel has given very positive feedback to the course so far, so please pray for him as he now plans to start teaching others. This is the model I wish to pursue currently, to train, disciple qualified Kenyan men who God will raise up, who in turn will go to teach others. This reminds me of the model given in 2 Timothy 2:2, which says “And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.” One of the key phrases in this verse is “faithful men.” I would covet your prayers for God to raise up “faithful men” who will go and teach others.

Something that has been emphasized to me (Nathan) while training is to work with employed young men, ages 20-30. Why? I have been told from several people that have lived here for years that youths don’t have the same level of expectations to receive material items from the missionary. This doesn’t mean that there are not some expectations, but hopefully they will be reduced by working with youths. Hopefully this will help with the dependency issue some. Also, to work with those that have jobs. Why? Because those with jobs already have taken the initiative to provide for their families and have a strong work ethic. This also should help some with the dependency issue. So, please, please pray for God to raise up employed young men to train. I would greatly appreciate prayers about this. I am willing to be patient and wait on the Lord to provide these kind of men. God will provide in His time.

We will be sure to keep you updated and we thank the Lord for each of you. May we commit ourselves fully to the Lord in 2019, serving until He comes.

Blessings,
Nathan and Carrie Radford

Nathan and Carrie Radford
P.O. Box 4150
Kitale, Kenya
East Africa 30200

For ministry donations:
Pastor George Sledd, Treasurer of BFM
P.O. Box 471280
Lake Monroe, FL 32747-1280
or click here to donate to BFM online.


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God is Blessing the Work in Kitale

Tate_profile

The Tate Family has served the Lord in Kitale, Kenya since January 2008. Their main ministry is church planting.

January 1, 2019

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

It is the New Year. As hard as it is for me to believe that statement, 2019 is now here and ready for us. I write this on January 1st so today is page 1 of 365 for the year. My new year has actually started with a little adventure. I was driving to town today to get some dog food and as I was driving down the road my car broke an axle and my front right tire broke completely off from my vehicle. Next thing I knew I was skidding down the road with metal on concrete. Metal on concrete is not a lovely sound or a lovely feeling. But I am completely unhurt, for which I thank the Lord. While I was waiting for a tow-truck (which arrived in just 10 minutes), three different Kenyan friends who were driving by stopped and sat with me to make sure I was OK. It was comforting to know there were people who cared and would assist me if they could.

We have closed out the old year at Upper Room Baptist Chapel on a positive note. Attendance at the Chapel has slowly gone up a bit and we averaged 17-18 people throughout the month of December. On the Sunday before Christmas we had 20 people in attendance, which matched the high attendance of our Inaugural attendance on October 21st. The work of Christ here in Kenya is not a numbers game but we are very glad to see that some people are interested in what we are doing here in Kitale. God really has been blessing the work so far in spite of my weaknesses. We have had other first-time visitors to the Chapel which has been encouraging to me as the minister of the work. In fact, one of the three friends who stopped by while I was waiting for the tow-truck was a man who has attended the services a number of times. He was talking with the tow-truck workers when they arrived and introduced me to them as “his pastor”.

A few short stories from the Chapel. First, I noticed that the room across the hall from our room was being used by a school that meets in our building. Each week I noticed that the room was unlocked and unused on Sundays. I decided to approach the administrators of the school to see if it were possible to use the room on Sunday mornings. Without reservation they agreed to let us use the room since they had no use for the room during that time period. They even agreed to let me use the room for no charge. So, we are now using that room each week as a Sunday School room for some of the young children who attend. This was a blessing from God. Second, we had a teenage girl attend one of our services. She has a Catholic background and regularly attends a Catholic church with her family. After the service she mentioned to Julie how different our worship and services are than they are at her church. Specifically, she said “You all actually teach from the Bible. At my church we are there for three and a half hours and the only thing that happens is one politician after another stands up and talks about their own political agendas. Nobody ever talks about the Bible at all”. She said she really liked what she heard at the Chapel that week. We pray that she is able to come again and hear the gospel message proclaimed again in a simple, easy-to-understand manner. Third, it was exciting to see my son Josiah and another teenager, Jesse, ministering in our services. Josiah and Jesse took over much of the music duties during the month of December while Josiah and Amy were home from school. What a thrill to see these young men ministering unashamedly in the Lord’s Kingdom. The other benefit is that they are both better guitar players than me. I would be glad to completely hand the music responsibilities over to them. Unfortunately, Josiah and Amy return to school on Saturday.

Happy New Year to all of you reading this update. May God’s grace and presence bless each of you all through this year.

Until next month, beloved.
May God’s peace and joy be with you.
For the glory of God in Kenya,
Roger & Julie Tate (and Amy, Josiah & Chloe)

rojuta[at]gmail.com
Visit their blog!

For ministry donations:
Pastor George Sledd, Treasurer of BFM
P.O. Box 471280
Lake Monroe, FL 32747-1280
or click here to donate to BFM online.


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Praying God would Raise Up Godly Kenyan Men

Nathan and Carrie Radford serve the Lord in Kitale, Kenya. Their main ministries include indigenous church planting, a prison ministry, and a hospital ministry for mothers with premature babies.

February 28, 2018

Dear praying friends,

Another month has come and gone, and there is much to report. We appreciate each of you so much, for your interest in missions, and the love and encouragement you provide as we serve here in Kitale, Kenya. It is a privilege to serve the Lord. God is so good and it is a joy to serve Him.

This past month, my wife’s sister Jenna came to visit us here in Kitale. We are now in the final days of her time with us, and she has been a joy and blessing to us. Please pray for her and her trip back to America in the next few days. She has enjoyed her time here in Kitale and adjusted very well to life here. Please also pray for her to remain healthy upon her return to America.

Our daughter Camille turned 7 years old this past month and it was so nice to have a little birthday party for her, both at school and with other missionary friends. What a joy she is to our family and we thank the Lord for her. She has made many friends while at school in Kitale, and we are so thankful for this. Please pray for both Camille and McKenna and their continued progress of making friends and getting much needed socialization. The school has been such a blessing for them.

I (Nathan) have been working on my work permit renewal, which is now in process in the capital city of Nairobi. You have to renew it every two to three years, and this time has come. Please pray if it would be the Lord’s will, that it would be renewed without any problem. Of course, we trust the Lord to lead and guide us, and have peace knowing He is in control of all things. We thank the Lord for the renewal of my wife’s work permit recently.

I (Nathan) have been working hard translating Bible teachings from English to Kiswahili, the language of Kenya. Kiswahili is not easy and takes a lot of work. It is easy to forget words periodically, and also difficult to follow a Kiswahili translation. Please pray for me as I continue translating the materials into the Kenyan language. It is a huge project, but one that I feel needs to be done at this time.

Please pray also for the Lord to raise up godly Kenyan men who would desire to be trained and start churches in their respective villages. It all depends on the Lord’s will and His timing. I am reminded of the verse in James 4:15, which says “For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.” How true.

May God continue to bless each of you for your heart for missions. We appreciate each of you so much.

Nathan and Carrie Radford
P.O. Box 4150
Kitale, Kenya
East Africa 30200

For ministry donations:
Pastor George Sledd, Treasurer of BFM
P.O. Box 471280
Lake Monroe, FL 32747-1280
or click here to donate to BFM online.


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Pointing Kenyans to Jesus

Tate_profile

The Tate Family has served the Lord in Kitale, Kenya since January 2008. Their main ministry is church planting.

December 21, 2017

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

I don’t know when you all will receive this newsletter but as I am writing it we are only four days away from Christmas. This may sound absurd, but I miss the snow like crazy. I love the snow – the beauty of it, the cold of it, the way it changes almost everything about your daily lives when you get a lot of it. I want to put on a heavy coat and gloves, trudge through the snow to my car, feel the bite of the cold on my face, scrape the ice off my window, hope my car starts, drive through the snow to a coffee house, see big flakes of snow falling from the sky, watch people tread carefully over a slippery parking lot and drink a hot cup of coffee while the snow piles up outside. This missionary truly misses the change of seasons. Changes of seasons mark the passage of time. Without them one day seems to run into another for me around here.

As you are, we are awaiting Christmas here in Kitale. It doesn’t look or feel much different than the rest of the year, except in one area – going to town gets crazy. It is chaos. I took Amy to town yesterday to help her buy a 5×7 picture frame. There were cars and people everywhere, glue boys and street people accosted us at every turn, I was grabbed and held by at least two different people who “wanted to greet me”, loud speakers blared music and advertisements from every corner and Amy received one marriage proposal. However, we could not find a single 5×7 frame anywhere in town.

Amy and Josiah are home from school for the holidays. As a result, I haven’t had time to do as much ministry tasks this month. We only have them home a total of three months out of the year. After this Christmas Amy only has one more Christmas in Kenya with us. After that she will be gone to the States and who knows when we will spend Christmas with her again. Josiah only has two Christmases left and then he too will follow Emily and Amy to the States. This is a very difficult aspect of missionary life for Julie and me. We see on Facebook the families gathering together for Christmas. We had to abandon that practice when we moved to Kenya ten years ago, but it becomes even more painful when we think that in just a couple of years none of our older children will be able to join us for Christmas. So, I’ve been trying to spend as much time with them as possible while they are home. I’ve played games with Josiah and drank coffee with Amy. Today we will decorate Christmas cookies and wrap presents. The time is short.

Time is short for the lost of this world too. Jesus came into this world two thousand years ago. We celebrate that birth during this season. He came to redeem. He came to save. He came to reconcile sinners to God. He came to offer Himself as the sacrifice for our sins. That is why we are here in Kenya. Not that we can do any of those things that Jesus came here to do. But we can point people to Jesus. We can say “Look at Him”. And that is what we are trying to do, to point more Kenyans to Jesus. May all of Kenya see the glory of Jesus this Christmas season.

May God’s peace and joy be with you.
For the glory of God in East Africa,
Roger & Julie Tate (and Amy, Josiah & Chloe)

rojuta[at]gmail.com
Visit their blog!

For ministry donations:
Pastor George Sledd, Treasurer of BFM
P.O. Box 471280
Lake Monroe, FL 32747-1280
or click here to donate to BFM online.


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Preparing to Return to Kenya

Nathan and Carrie Radford serve the Lord in Kitale, Kenya. Their main ministries include indigenous church planting, a prison ministry, and a hospital ministry for mothers with premature babies.

August 31, 2017

Dear praying friends,

Another month has come and gone, and we are nearing the end of 2017. This year has passed so quickly, and is a reminder of how short our lives are here on earth compared to eternity. May we serve faithfully while we can, and serve God by serving others. This update will share current happenings in Kenya and our plans.

Thanks so much to each one of you who prayed for us in regards to the election earlier in the month. You never know how an election will go. The one last time passed fairly peacefully, but the one before that was followed by much unrest in the country. We felt the wisest and safest thing to do was to wait until the election was over before considering our return.

All in all, the election passed fairly peacefully, although there were small pockets of unrest in the larger cities. There were thousands of police who were deployed all over the country to help with any unrest our violence, so the country was well prepared. Even as I type this, the election winner has not officially been declared yet. The results are being challenged and an official winner is to be announced this weekend. We don’t think any major unrest will happen at this time, but we still request prayer for peace in the country and that people will accept the results without resorting to any violence. God is in control and we trust in Him. Psalm 56:3 says “What time I am afraid, I will trust in Thee.”

We feel it is safe to return at this time and we plan to return to Kenya in mid-September, Lord willing. Please pray for us as there is still a lot to do, with packing for two years, as well as trying to remember everything that needs to get done. It can be a stressful time, but we are thankful for those who help us with all the details as we pack up and return.

Please pray for us and the transitions ahead. It is always emotional to leave our country, and familiar things to us, but we are following where God leads, trusting Him each step of the way. Lord willing, I will give a more detailed update next month. We appreciate each of you, who give sacrificially, pray for us, or assist us in any way. You are a blessing. Please note our field address for correspondence.

Serving Him,
Nathan and Carrie Radford

Nathan and Carrie Radford
Furlough Address:
P.O. Box 4150
Kitale, Kenya, East Africa

For ministry donations:
Pastor George Sledd, Treasurer of BFM
P.O. Box 471280
Lake Monroe, FL 32747-1280
or click here to donate to BFM online.


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